JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Silver Cross hospital officially moved its operations from Joliet to New Lenox over the weekend.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports, more than 120 patients were taken, one at a time, by ambulance about 3 miles to the new Silver Cross campus at U.S. 6 and Interstate 355.READ MORE: 8-Year-Old Accidentally Discharges Gun, Wounds 11-Year-Old In Bronzeville
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports
The new 560,000 square foot hospital with 289 beds sites on 76 acres and is said feature larger, private patient rooms, outpatient doctor offices, a two story dining room, free wireless Internet and a helipad.
Planning for the new hospital goes back five years.
Silver Cross President and chief executive officer Paul Pawlak slowly walked a vacant Joliet emergency room hallway Sunday morning, after the move was complete.READ MORE: Girl, 17, Among 2 Shot In Back Of The Yards
“I’ve been here 21 years. I have flashbacks of what it used to look like,” he said, surrounded by dark exam rooms closed off with yellow caution tape. The only people left in the ER were a handful of doctors and nurses packing up office supplies and medical equipment.
“It’s hard. I said goodbye to my office two weeks ago. I spent a third of my life in that office,” Pawlak said. “But it’s time. Silver Cross deserves this.”
The now vacant Joliet facility will become a veterans’ clinic in the spring of 2013.
The SouthtownStar contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.MORE NEWS: Police Investigate Loop Carjacking
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)